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PCR # 351  (Vol. 7, No. 50)  This edition is for the week of December 11--17, 2006.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

The Fabulous Architecture of the Tampa Bay Region, Part Two  by Will Moriaty
"Eragon"  by Mike Smith
"Charlotte's Web"  by Mike Smith
First Screening of Creature Productions' "Dark Dimensions"  by Nolan B. Canova
The Tampa Film Review for December  by Nolan B. Canova
Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! Part 3  by Drew Reiber
DVD Grindhouse: Horror Classics - 50 Movie Pack DVD Collection (Part 1)....Peter Boyle is Gone  by Andy Lalino
The Globes....Texas Boud....Passing On....Next Year....My Favorite Films, Part 50: "1941"  by Mike Smith
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20th Century Fox     
Starring: Edward Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Robert Carlyle and John Malkovich
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Rated: PG
Running Time: 1 hour 44 mins

A farm boy being raised by his uncle goes on an adventure with an old man who tells him he is the "only hope" of those that are battling the king and offers to show him how to use his magic and wield a sword. Sound familiar? If you guessed "Star Wars" then you and I think alike. It's also the plot for "Eragon."

Once there was a group of dragon-riders. They protected the land by patrolling the skies on the backs of their fire breathing beasties. One day, a rider decides to kill all of the other riders and take over the kingdom. Legend has it that when a dragon rider dies, his dragon soon follows. Years later the rider, now King (Malkovich) learns that a new dragon is about to be hatched. He orders his henchman, Durza (Carlyle) to find it and destroy it. Durza is a "shade," an evil magician, whose fingernails drip blood, seemingly at will. While hunting in the woods, Eragon (Speleers) comes across a large rock and takes it home. Unbeknownst to Eragon, the rock is actually a dragon egg. Eragon also stumbles onto Brom (Irons), an angry loner from the village who talks of the past. Once the egg hatches, it's only a matter of time before Durza's men track it down and kill anyone found with it. And so the adventure begins.

"Star Wars" references aside, "Eragon" is a fun film that is certain to join the ranks of "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings" in the world of fantasy films. From the moment our little dragon (named Saphira and voiced by Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz) pops out of the shell, the wonder and amazement it brings to the screen is full blown, thanks to the special effects crews from George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic and Peter Jackson's WETA. Whether playfully romping after Eragon as a "pup" or soaring majestically through the sky, reigning fire on the bad guys, your belief in dragons grows each minute. The cast is equally as good with newcomer Speleers leading the way as the wide eyed boy who slowly becomes a man. Irons is fine as Brom, bringing a quiet wisdom to the role. As for the bad guys, Carlyle is much scarier here then he was as a Bond villain in "The World Is Not Enough." And Malkovich, whose repertoire of bad guys ranges from a would be presidential assassin in "In the Line of Fire" to Cyrus the Virus in "Con Air," is downright evil as the King. The battle scenes are full scale and the scenery is breathtaking.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give "Eragon"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Eragon" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2006, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.